1. The smug elitism, the assumption of intellectual superiority. You haven’t made a film that is too challenging for the bulk of the cinema-going public; you’ve simply made one that has failed to engage them. How have you managed to wring a sense of superiority out of this?
2. Oh that arrogance of crafting a film of interest only to your thirty closest friends and imagining you’ve changed the world is just so tragic.
3. “Issues” never will and never should take the place of good filmmaking. Regardless of how well-meaning the concept behind the movie, if it hasn’t been executed well enough to make me want to watch it, then that’s just not good enough.
4. While it’s unfair to blame art cinema for the people who watch it, but oh boy, what a bunch of joyless, earnest, lumpen, stolidly self-conscious geeks you generally are.
5. If you can’t be bothered to set up artificial lighting, Lars von Trier, I can’t be bothered to watch your movie.
6. Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Hrishikesh Mujherji, Orson Welles and Billy Wilder, to name but a few, all managed to make intelligent, nuanced, socially relevant, terribly important cinema that was not just phenomenally popular but also changed our understanding of the possibilities of the medium. Name me one art filmmaker who can claim that level of impact. That’s right, outside of your pseudo-intellectual, bohemian, pretentious circles, you don’t matter at all.
7. Nandita Das and/or Shabana Azmi. Shudder.
8. The social pressure, the eager self-righteousness with which one is mugged by young media types, and their horrified reaction when informed that you’d sooner watch a film featuring cheerleaders. The keenness to judge, the inability to just like what you like, the desperation to follow the mentality of your trendy, pretentious herd stems from profound intellectual insecurity.
9. The solution to commercial cinema being increasingly dumb, crass and pointless is not to create an alternative school of filmmaking. There is space within commercial cinema for brains and a big heart too.
10. Let’s face it, you’re making a low budget film for a small audience because you just couldn’t hack it in the real world. End of story.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2010.
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